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tv   [untitled]    December 1, 2013 2:30am-3:01am PST

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if i am eligible for the program, is the card issued to me? >> that is correct. >> so it should be on me at all times and then i give it to the driver, the driver swipes it and would you say if i am capable i sign a receipt and i am supposed to get it back. >> sometimes when they are with the care giver as well. they are always together, the person should be in the vehicle. >> you would always be in the vehicle. >> i guess i am not clear on how he was able to do all of this swiping is it alleged then that these people allowed him to keep the card? >> we do not know why, or how he obtained the cards, but it is alleged that he had the cards without the presence of those people. so they can be insin you ated that they allowed him to keep it but we did not go that far into it. >> and one other thing, that there is a reference that i think to potentially as much as $21,000 of suspicious transactions. >> that is correct. >> i was not clear if that was
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over a two year period or a three year period? >> i think at one point it says since the program was instituted in 2009 and at another point it happened from maybe just in 2013. >> he can answer that. >> our reporting period covered september 2009 through september of this year. and the reason for that was that the debit card program itself started in about september of 2009. and the para transit taxi program existed previously but we used the paper script and so we used the electronic record go to september of 2009. >> so the 21,000 dollars is from 2009 forward. >> that is correct. >> thank you. >> i have further questions if you are finished. to what extent are these cards subsidized by the public? >> depending on the person's income?
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>> no the rate of subsidy is fixed. currently the rate is for every $5 of cash that the person that the card is issued to is paid to our office and we load the $30 of ride value on to the debit card account and so it is about one 6th of the cost that the patron is bearing. >> okay. >> and are there for the did he bit card holders, the rider are there any particular policies with respect to how they are supposed to keep their card? >> yes. our riders guide and another policy that are very, very clear that it is, a major violation to provide your card to another person, for them to use. >> okay. and did you do, as part of your investigation, interviews? >> we did. >> and can you summarize, there were a number of instances of
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explanations that were not credible at all. and we had people who told us i don't know how these transactions got in there but i use my card all of the time and i use it to go to the doctor, they never started at home and never go to the doctor. and we also have one person who did tell us a very credible story. that she had lost her card for a period of some months. she was able to recall the date of the ride and the date sha she requested a reprint card and when we matched up those dates, the pattern of the suspicious behavior was squarely between them. >> it happened during the period that she contended that the card was out of her possession. >> and is the amount of money
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on these cards, electronically loaded? >> >> yes, it is linked back to an account but it is not a stored value card. >> it is automatic reload? >> pretty much. yes, that is correct. >> if we issue a new card, the old balance rolls over automatically. >> that is not my question. >> i am an account holder and i am a debit card holder. >> okay. >> and i use of the para transit system and i gave you $5, and i got $25, or 3eds $30. >> i have $35 card it is not loaded on to the card. >> no, it has a 15 digit card number, which goes to the account where the money lives and it is debited against that account >> so if i want to have, that
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constant debit, does that lend tied to my bank or credit source so that i don't have to come in with a $5 check. >> not athis time, we accept the payment in the lobby and by mail, cash or check we recently started accepting credit cards but we don't have an automatic payment. >> if i wanted to be efficient, i would say here is $100. >> correct. >> okay. >> you differentiate in your analysis in terms of those transactions which you deem to be suspicious because of destination and pick up point? >> how about related to where a taxi client would have paid in cash? and then, a card is swiped? is that included in any guess work there? in these total? s
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>> i am not sure that i understand your question, sorry. >> somewhere in the brief, it was discussed that if somebody had paid in cash, and then the card was swiped, to create a double payment at the same time, there is no way to track that, is there? >> there is no way to track the cash payment. >> and we have the debit card record, but that is it. >> all right. >> and you are talking about a cash payment by someone? >> someone who was different. >> a non-para transit. >> or any other client before that point in time. >> yeah. >> okay. >> there were something in your brief that referenced something similar to that. >> there is no way to actually track what was basically happened is that you would have to leave the meter on, rather than canceling it so that you could run a different card on the same transaction? >> understood. >> i have one more quick question, was there any
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criminal prosecution related to this? >> not related to this individual, we did submit several others to the da's office. >> okay. >> thank you. >> i have another question. mr. goldstein is saying that he is his client is having his medallion lifted for two fraudulent transactions totals less than $30. is that your case, or is it that roughly $21,000 over a period of four years? >> right, it is not even necessarily the amount, it is the activity, over that period of time. the $30 is that we have video of two transactions. and those two transactions totaled, probably about $27 to $30. give or take >> that relates to the video. >> that is correct. >> and we did use the video in our previous hearing, as the crux of all of our evidence of the additional conduct. >> and has he has his medallion since 2011. >> that is correct. >> were you able to determine
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what the amount of the transactions was since he got it to the present? >> well, we have determined what we believe the fraudulent transactions to be and the para transit office can tell you how many he has done completely over time and i am interested from 2011 the time of the medallion, and until now, because that is what is relevant to me, any way. >> yeah. i don't have that exact number. >> number of transactions? >> even of that the amounts? >> not since that time period, and we are materials are all back to the beginning of the program and so i can say from 2009, but... >> right, but your position is that it is a course of conduct over many years. >> 4 years. >> that is the appearance, yeah. >> okay. >> and with respect to the $21,000, assuming that the figure is something that the department can prove out in a
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precise manner, how is it, is it the department's position that it is going to go forward and enforce recouplement? >> no, we are not in a position to enforce the institution and we are not in that position so we don't have that ability to do that. >> that would be the da. >> okay. >> okay. >> so, it is revocation is solely the remedy and the determination at issue and there is no fines associated? >> we can take the public comment on this and we want to make a reminder to those in the room that the public comment is for the persons who are not parties to an appeal or
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representatives or the board's representatives of a party to include the family or household numbers and so if there is anyone here who does not fall under those categories who would like to speak under the public comment, step forward. >> you will have the rebuttal. >> after the public comment. >> and family members can speak during that period. >> i am jacob and i am the manager of downtown taxi and i am trying to stay as... >> how many people are going to speak on this? >> just one, three minutes, then. >> thank you. >> i have been known for 15 years, and he was working as a cab driver. and it is the critical of his career was the taxi cab medallion two years ago. and i am sure that we all in our lives, at least once, made
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some mistakes, or exercise some poor judgment, we wanted to know, and we work and he is an exceptional cab driver and i don't have in my memory that i have heard ever a complaint from the public or sfmta and i doubt that sfmta has anything on him that related to failure to convey, or other things that are associated with that. the punishment here that as sfmta chose to have is way over weighed the crime. we, the mistake the effect of the punishment is that, usually it is life long, and in that, you are given just one chance, to buy this medallion.
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and they just it is way too much, behind that medallion in his family. and so, i am pleading with you commissioners to exercise leniency and come up with the solution that will prevent similar situations in the future. and also, send a message to everybody else around that. and i don't think that the punishment for that is equal. and so what has happened. >> any additional public comment? >> seeing none, we will start
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with our rebuttal. mr. goldstein. >> he comes from a different culture where some of these kinds of things go on all of the time and i just want to mention that to you. and in this case, the sfmta is overstated the case. the balance checks were made on credit cards of his grandmother, his grandmother's best friend and their friend all of whom are over 80 years old and he held their cards because they were exclusive users and he served them all of time, and he took them to the doctor and to the store and to see their friends and they relied on them because they could not rely on other drivers because nobody would pay the kind of attention to him or could speak russian like he could and otherwise would be as accommodating to them as he would. >> so those balance checks are on the cards of the people that were intimate to his family including his grandmother and.
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and the sfmta tries to make something pernicious out of making the balance checks but it does not amount to any dead triment to anybody the only one that we know about for sure is the $27 worth of over charges and he admits to that. the other stuff is speculative and he has discovered the patterns and he defines that the patterns mean and they have been in the suspicious activity has been wrong doing which amount to maybe $21,000. but no one is sure about that. that is speculation. and in this country, we don't put people in jail and we don't take property rights away on speculation or surmise. we do it on hard proof. and the only hard proof there is in this case, which i think that mr. jarvis admitted is two
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incidents which were corroborated by the women in the car, the rest is speculation because so and so was taken from point a to b and that does not look like and therefore we conclude that this was some sort of a pernicious activity and that is all speculation. and so, based on the proof that we have, we have a very little, amount of money, and in that, is involved in these transactions. and the punishment is way over the top. and way over the top. and you can't take this man's livelihood and his business away and his ability to support his family on the basis of this kind of proof. you got to give him a chance to... and a little bit. thank you. >> thank you. >> i have a question, actually. i have a question for you. >> so this is the difficulty that i am having, so you are stating that it was a very small amount, $20 something but you are suggesting a $10,000
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fine and can you explain your reasoning there? >> i thought if you want to punish him that is a big punishment, that is a huge punishment for him. >> and so i would rather it be less. >> it is not grounded in anything factual. >> no, it is like there are statutory penalties for doing certain things. >> i understand that. you answered my questions. and my other question is the other difficulty that i am having, is this is an issue of trust. because if we don't up hold this suspension, presumably and impose the revocation, then, and impose the fine instead, what is to guarantee that this will not happen again? >> from my viewpoint that is probably the concern here and the reason for the revocation. >> yes. and he told me that he has not slept for six nights because he is so worried about this and
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losing his business and so worried about what has happened to him about his transgression and he has been punished by the procedure and by the fine and he will not do anything like this again. >> do you know if your client was aware of the potential consequences. >> i don't know, i don't know if he was schooled in the particular law that applied or to the particular statute that applied. >> and he is a taxi cab driver, you know he has worked hard to make a buck to keep his family going. >> okay. >> any other questions? >> okay, thank you. >> >> thank you. >> mr. murray? >> we are done, thank you.
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>> we are going to hear from the department now with rebuttal. thank you. >> and yeah, well. >> and thank you commissioners. again i am going to add that this is for us, for the mta is an issue of public trust and it is our duty to protect our public from these type of activities. and i am sure as you are all aware for those of you who live here in the city our taxi drivers are, you know, they are in trouble as an industry with the rise of the technology such as lift, and side car and part of that success is because many people in our city feel like they can't trust our system. they can't trust our taxi drivers and what we are trying to do is instill in our public, and in everyone else that no, yes, you can and things that happen to you in a taxi if you have a problem in the taxi the
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mta is here to help you, with those issues, and that is why we are here today. and this is not about him as a person, this is about the activity. that was done. we frankly believe that there are many other drivers involved in this activity, and unfortunately he was the first person that he brought against the medallion holders. and we believe that there are many others and they will bring the actions against them as well. we did submit many to the da's office and just to determine what they would like to do. with these action and the only reason that we waited on those is because we wanted to wait for their response, and beyond that, this is an issue where we are trying to protect our riding public from this kind of activity, we don't want our drivers to believe that they can get away with doing these kinds of things. and then, come out and protest and say, don't drive side car when we have allowed and stole a little money let it go, we can't do that. that is not our place, our
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place here is to protect our public from that kind of activity. and this is for us, i mean, it may, and it is heavy, but it is going to send a chill in the industry and we believe that this is happening more, than with just him, we going to stop everyone that we find with this mat and her we are going to find what is happening with him and understand that this will stop and it is not going to happen and in san francisco, and you are not going to be a san francisco taxi driver or a medallion holder regardless of how much you spent on it and be allowed to get away with this type of conduct. >> mr. murray, this analysis of suspect trips and the influence between destination and drop off points was done by the para transit vendor. >> that is correct. >> has your agency reviewed
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their methodology and verified the results. >> you mean have we verified the trips? >> the methodology that they did for the search? and then the actual lifting of suspect trips did you folks review those and concur with that? >> well, not for each and every one, but for example when we obtained the video and that was one of the thing that we had done and they sent us the information saying that we believe that there is a problem. >> i understand that and i saw your brief. >> and that was two instances. >> correct. >> and that was saying, 266 instances. what did your agency do to verify what the vendors presented to you. >> we did not verify all 266, no, we started the video to see is this actually occurring? >> and then we saw that it was occurring. and we were able to ex-trap polite that information and we are able to look at these balance checks and where do these people live? they live on this corn and her
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so that is what the highlights are and that is what we asked for, in that data was show us where these trips are and what is bye buy the home, and what are the hospitals that are normally used and so the green are the hospitals, you know the certain color was the home location and you know, so we could look at each one of those and pick it apart and say, this went from the taxi to the fisherman's wharf is that something that a 90-year-old person is being picked up at a taxi yard. they can visit the wharf and it does not so a location near their home or any other type of destination. we looked at it, you know, that we were taking them to the hospital and great, here is a list of hospitals and the nearby addresses. and we can verify the information that they gave us and asked them to color code it so that you can see it as well. >> just have a couple of
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questions. the cases that you are referred to the da has there been any action on those? >> there has not been any action taken yet. >> and any indication of what they intend to do with those cases? >> not really a true indication, what they want to see for the future ones that we may submit to them. >> and is there a reason why this case was not referred? and i guess that i am trying to get into your assessment as to why you referred to one and not the others. >> and we referred to one, and you did refer this one. >> i am sorry, we did not refer this one to the da. >> why not. >> we did not refer it to the da because, one, it is a medallion holder, and so we wanted the immediacy and we wanted to get to it as soon as possible because we want to wait for the da. to see what they did, but then the data becomes stale. and so we decided let's keep some aside and move forward with our process, again and our
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process is not criminal and so it is not a situation where he is going to go to jail. >> that is what i am going to get into the insight of what the possibilities are. >> we took this one because it wanted the medallion holder, and we did not want it to wait a year or two years or however long it takes. >> it will stay your action. >> correct. >> and then, so i mean if they were to come back and say, go ahead. but we don't know how long that will take. >> i got it. >> mr. murray, if the gentleman were not a medallion holder but had been caught doing this kind of activity, what might you have recommended then? >> we would have revoked his acard and so he so maintains the acard but we revoked this because he is a business owner. >> and so the drivers. >> right. >> the permit. correct. >> and so you can continue to work as a driver. >> he actually can. >> can or cannot. >> he can. >> yes. >> and he can continue to work as a driver.
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we focused on the medallion because he has control over it. >> one more follow up question. >> is another reason that you did not refer this one to the da because of the strength of the evidence? primarily because of the medallion holder. >> it is something to do with the strength of the evidence here? >> in terms of why we didn't refer to the da? >> correct. >> and it had more, primarily because he is a medallion holder we kept it on our own and went for the permit ourselves. >> and i got a few questions for myself. and what led you to the initial investigation of potential fraud into this particular... >> like, mr. san did her son said and you can come up if you would like, but he brought us and he they questioned some of the transactions that they were seeing and so he looked at some and he saw a lot of inconsistentcy and he saw and it is not just him but it several other people as well
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particularly when they had one patron taking one person for an extended period of time. and so that is when he began looking into that. and then, it got big and her bigger and that does not necessarily mean that it is a problem it is a weird inconsistentcy. >> this pattern just kind of materialized. >> right. but then the bigger issues which are the balance checks and things of that sort start and that is where we start to really move forward. >> that is fine and my next question is how many medallions are actually out in san francisco that are issued? >> there are and it is moving right now, but there are over 1800 right now. >> and but by the end of 2014, it will be 2105. >> and how many have been revoked in the last 12 months? >> in the last 12 months? we had maybe, 3 or 4, turn them in without actual hearing based
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upon our evidence. and we have had another one that is going to be before you, actually in about a month. and so, i want to say, we have had maybe even in front of this board, i think maybe two, this year. and so far. >> and then, there will be one coming up in january. >> and then my last question is that, this is a pretty serious matter, and we are talking about someone's livelihood at this point and there has been a serious investment as far as the medallion holders concerned here. >> is there a potential option that if it is revoked that he would be able to sell it prior? or is it just revoke only? is there an option here? because evidently he has a loan on the current medallion and there has been a substantial investment into that medallion. >> there has been and that is correct. and he has paid for his medallion and all of the records there, he paid $250 and
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took a loan out with a bank. under the revocation, and mr. goldstein is correct, he would get most of that money back but he would lose, $50,000 approximately of that money. and so, he would get back roughly $200, for the 250 but he would lose 50,000 of that money. >> i was going to say that the only way prior to revocation assuming that we were not moving forward, i mean that he has the right, if there were no issues, he would have the right to sell his medallion for the full amount. >> and currently what is the medallion worth in today's value? >> $250,000. >> it is still worth. >> and the mta sets the price. >> so he can sell it or he can't sell it >> if he were not having any issues. >> meaning, >> and with the board, correct. he would have been able to sell it. if he just had felt like, you
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know what i don't want this any more i am going to sell it. >> he cannot sell it. >> not after revocation. no. but what will happen is that this is going to be a voluntary for sale after revocation. and that forced sale will allow him to recoup the majority of that money. >> minus. >> can he sell it prior? >> he has already been revoked. >> okay, i got it. >> all right. >> is there any alternative that we could sell it if, i mean is the mta willing it remove the revoke allowing him to sell it or not at all? >> not at all. >> okay. so your position is firm. that it is either revoke or we give it to him. >> that is correct. >> okay. >> the other medallions that were turned in, were they allowed to sell? >> no. they were turned in, let me back up. i do believe that we allowed one to sell but there were two
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who were not allowed to sell at all. they had to simply turn it in. >> okay. and why did you allow that medallion hold er to sell? >> i don't remember, i remember the corporate permit and they are not allowed to sell period and the other one, was simply because the conduct that we found was agregious enough that we were able to take them to a hearing and penalize them a fine amount and in lou, of that, they decided rather than losing the medallion and paying an at dishal $96,000 in fines they would rather turn it in. >> but was that medallion revoked at the time that you allowed him to sell. >> no, it was not, it was simply a discussion beforehand. >> we had initiated proceedings. but we had not gone to hearing. >> okay, thank you mr. murray. >> i have nothing. >>

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